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THE NILOMETER.–FUNERAL PROCESSION, &c. 27

phics, figures of oxen, men, &c., in relief, very finely executed. In the second pyramid, which was opened by Belzoni, we found the passage closed, towards the bottom, by the drifted sand. This passage was perfectly similar to the other. Immense labour has been fruitlessly employed to open the small, or third pyramid.

Returning to Cairo, we saw the Nilometer, called Mekias, a square, deep reservoir, faced with stone, and having inscriptions. In the centre is placed a column, with a graduated scale. We also saw the English pump on the opposite side, which had been made a present to the Pacha. It was just completed, and the working was to commence in a few days.

On Wednesday, the 20th, we went with Osman to Boulak, where we got a boat for five hundred piastres per month, men, and reis, or captain, included. A funeral passed us in the street, the mourners in front singing, and women veiled following the body, and uttering loud lamentations. At the gateway stood a man distributing water. He gave to all who passed, at the same time addressing some words to each.

On Thursday we saw the Greek slave mart. It is a regular traffic. They generally bring from five to twenty purses, * according to the supposed value.

* A“ purse” is about £7.

On Friday, the 22nd, we visited Old Cairo, and saw the tomb called El Chaliffé. People were asleep at the grating. On the left of the entrance is a mosque, and after going along a passage, you come to the tomb, which is in a chamber, also to the left.

Further on, near the gate, we saw another tomb, that of a grand-daughter of the prophet. We first passed into a mosque, in which were a number of columns of various marbles, and irregular capitals. Here several people were at prayer. Near the upper end of the mosque, we came to a large door on the right, at which several people were asleep. This door was locked, and, on being opened, admitted us to a flight of several steps, leading to a chamber, on crossing which we entered another smaller apartment, in which is the tomb.

The servant, the keeper of the tomb, and another person who was with him, immediately began to mutter prisons, and seemed absorbed in devotion. The coffin is raised about four feet, and is covered with a rich cloth of silk ; and over the head of it hangs a green veil, bespangled with silver stars. There is an enclosure of about a foot distance round it, the wood gratings of which are all over inlaid with mother of pearl. The four corners are surmounted with globes of silver, and the door is fastened by a large lock of the same metal. In visiting this tomb we passed as strangers, who might be natives of Constantinople, or some other distant place.

MOSQUE OF AMERA - GROTTO OF THE VIRGIN. 29

We next proceeded to the mosque of Amerou, a strong wind and drifting of sand blowing against us the whole way. This mosque is quite a forest of columns, and in the central part of the upper end, is a balcony, lighted by several lamps. In the left hand corner stands a tomb, and in the centre a small building, surrounded by a colonnade. As a whole, this mosque is the finest that we saw at Cairo. We kept on through ruins in all directions, foundations, bricks, &c. till we came to Old Cairo. Here, in a church, we saw a place called “ the Grotto of the Virgin," where, according to tradition, she remained some time while in Egypt. It is nothing else than the crypt of the church. There is an old picture representing the flight, and, on the left, a little recess, where the child is said to have been placed, &c. This grotto, or crypt, was held in great veneration.

On Saturday, the 23d, we visited the tombs of the Mamelukes. The domes are numerous, twelve or fifteen being seen at once. At a distance of half a mile in the desert, is another square, with dome, painted roof, &c., and ruinous, as all of them

are.

We went on to the Maturia, a place famous for the residence of public women—a sort of viceencampment, sanctioned by the authorities. Many came out dressed, with their hair plaited down the back with cords, continuing to the heels, and wearing silver pendants and large rings in their

noses.

We entered, and saw two of them dance, which was an odd exhibition. They make use of small cymbals, placed on the finger of each hand. These they use with much elegance. Though this class of women has been represented as very numerous, we saw but few, and we looked into every tent as we passed along the central street. Nothing is more exaggerated than vice. Cities are slandered wantonly; and the personal experience of certain travellers is extended to the moral character of a whole people.

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CHAPTER II.

Mahomed Ali, Pacha of Egypt_Murad and Ibrahim, the ruling

Beys of the Mamlukes-Murad and Murat—the Character of the two Beys-Battle of the Pyramids-Osman Tambourgi, Murad's successor-Ibrahim, Shiek El Belled-Sir David Baird-Massacre of the Mamlukes-Mahomed Kosrouf—the Defeat of Youssuf Bey and Mahomed Ali-Reflections.

MAHOMED ALI is, without doubt, one of the most hardy and enterprizing characters of modern history. Whether we regard his origin, rise, or present condition, there is an equally ample space for the indulgence of our “wondering faculty.” Born amidst barbarians, he has acquired the graces and the conduct of civilized life; suckled in prejudice, deep, deadly, and hereditary, he has opened his heart to the acquisition of knowledge, and banished all those animosities derived from peculiarity of race and blood, in order to facilitate the amelioration of his country and of his people. By parentage an abject slave, he became the dele

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